Thursday, September 6, 2012

At U.S. Open, ball boys keep their heads in the game and their yarmulkes on their heads

Four boby pins work "magic" to keep
Donny Steinberg's kippah in place
as ball boy at the U.S. Open
Richard Van Loon
There are very few occupations where having your yarmulke fall off could cost you your job. But that was definitely on the mind of Donny Steinberg, a 16-year-old who decided to try out as a ball boy with the hopes of making it to the U.S Open. He made the cut, and the rookie is excited. So far, his blond hair and yarmulke have stayed in place.

“You definitely don’t want any sudden movement or anything that would interrupt a point or distract a player,” said Steinberg, who attends David Renhov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys in Woodmere, L.I. “Someone asked me how I keep my kipa on, and if it’s magic. I told them it was just four bobby pins.”

Steinberg originally thought that getting the job required connections to the United States Tennis Association, but he learned about the regular tryout. After about five hours of waiting, he had 90 seconds to show he could throw the tennis ball across the court on a bounce, run quickly and show a positive attitude. A second tryout had about 20 minutes of evaluation, and then he had to prove himself in the qualifying rounds prior to the beginning of the U.S. Open, which is now in its second week. -- Alan Zeitlin, NY Jewish Week

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